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Florida State’s last-second field goal ruins Boston College upset bid

11.22.14 at 6:36 pm ET
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Roberto Aguayo converts the game-winning field goal Saturday against Boston College. (Getty Images)

Roberto Aguayo converts the game-winning field goal Saturday against Boston College. (Getty Images)

The Boston College football team came up just short from notching the upset of the college football season, allowing the third-ranked Florida State Seminoles to kick a 27-yard Roberto Aguayo field goal with three seconds left for a 20-17 victory.

A BC win would have marked the first time since 1993 that the Eagles beat a 10-0 team, having topped Notre Dame on its own field that year.

“We didn’t come down here to be a bridesmaid,” BC head coach Steve Addazio said after losing its third game by less than seven points this season. “We came down here to win.”

The final Florida State drive started at its own 26 yard-line, with 4:37 left. The Seminoles got the ball back for the decisive march after Boston College kicker Alex Howell missed a potential go-ahead, 42-yard field goal wide right.

“I missed it, it was nobody else’s fault. That’s just what it is,” Howell told reporters.

Tyler Murphy threw just 10 times in the pouring rain, completing six passes, including a 49-yarder to Shakim Phillips that tied the game, 10-10 in the second quarter. Jameis Winston connected for 30 yards to Nick O’Leary for a go-ahead touchdown putting Florida State up, 17-10, at the half.

Winston finished with 281 yards passing, completing 22 of 32 passes for a touchdown and an interception.

The only score of the third quarter belonged to BC as Murphy ran it in from 21 yards to force another tie, 17-17.

“I just saw guys playing their hearts out,” Addazio said. “They made a few more plays than we did. That’s the moral of the story.”

BC lost its second straight and falls to (6-5, 3-4 ACC Atlantic) while Florida State remains firmly in the BCS four-team playoff pool with a perfect 11-0 record, finishing a perfect 8-0 in the ACC Atlantic. They finish the regular season with a game against cross-state rival Florida on Saturday before taking on Georgia Tech in the ACC championship in Charlotte.

BC finishes its regular season next Saturday with a game against Syracuse at Alumni Stadium.

For a complete box score, click here.

Harvard claims another Ivy League title with win over Yale

11.22.14 at 4:27 pm ET
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Andrew Fischer caught at 35-yard pass from Conner Hempel with 55 seconds remaining, giving Harvard a 31-24 win over Yale along with the Ivy League title for the Crimson, Saturday at Harvard Stadium.

Harvard had held a 24-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but two touchdowns from Tyler Varga and a 33-yard field goal by Kyle Cazzetta with 3:44 left helped the visitors draw even heading into the final minutes.

Fischer had a huge day receiving for the Crimson, catching eight passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Paul Stanton Jr. led the hosts’€™ rushing attack, compiling 109 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

The game-winning score was a culmination of an eight-play, 78-yard drive for Harvard. Yale’€™s last chance was thwarted with 44 seconds remaining after Scott Peters intercepted Morgan Roberts (25-for-38, 305 yards).

The win caps the undefeated season for Harvard head coach Tim Murphy, preventing Yale from clinching a share of their first Ivy League title since 2006.

It was the teams’€™ 131st meeting, handed Harvard it’€™s eighth straight win over Yale, who has also dropped 13 of their last 14 clashes with the Crimson.

Steve Addazio on D&C: ‘We’ve got to count on each other’ to beat Florida State

11.21.14 at 11:05 am ET
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Steve Addazio

Steve Addazio

Boston College coach Steve Addazio joined Dennis & Callahan to discuss the Eagles‘ upcoming game against top-ranked Florida State. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Seminoles have not lost at all this season and are vying for their second consecutive national title. Some experts, though, have said this Florida State team is not the same as the one that took the championship last year. Addazio said the Seminoles still can win any game they play.

Said Addazio: “Well, they’re different. But they’re talented and they’re good. They’re just a different team. The level that they play with in the second half of these games is pretty remarkable, to tell you the truth. Some of the slow starting, it’s hard to tell what that’s all about. But the reality is they really raise their level of play. There’s no good fortune for them, they’re really playing hard at the end of these games.”

The Eagles already have knocked off a top-10 team this year as they beat USC at home early in the season. The hosts asked if the talk Addazio gave his team before that upset win applies to this week’s game against the Seminoles.

“The same things I’ve been talking about all week, I talked about the week going into that game, that no one gives us a chance,” Addazio said. “Except the guys in this room, us, our team. We’ve got to count on each other, we’ve got to depend on each other. That’s what being a team is all about, and there’s no pressure on us. We’ll go down there, play hard as you can play and make your plays when we have an opportunity. Win your one-on-one matchups. I think our guys go down there and play really hard. Like anything else, you’re going on the road, you’ve got to combine playing really hard with a good plan, making your plays and having some good fortune. And that’s the way it goes.”

Addazio said for the team to win, the Eagles must establish a certain tempo on both sides of the ball from the start of the game.

Said Addazio: “I think two things have to happen. We need to get off the field on defense. I mean, getting a three-and-out would be pretty significant so we can keep the field position in our favor. And then being able to establish the run. We are that team, so you’ve got to be able to establish what you do best. And then we’€™re going to take our shots in this game. We’€™re going to take our shots, we’€™ve got some stuff wired together and we’€™ve got to connect on them. Whatever we deem are the shots, let’€™s call them, that we’€™re going take whether it be a play, whether it be whatever. And then you’€™ve got to make your plays. It’€™s not for the faint of heart. There’€™s no risk, no reward. So we’€™ve got to have some risky fields that we’€™re going to roll on and hopefully we put them together.”

While BC plans to play with an aggressive style, if the Eagles have a lead at some point in the game, Addazio said the way they play could change.

“I would say honestly that would depend on when the game was,” Addazio said of holding a lead. “And what’€™s going on on the other side of the ball. If you’€™re playing great defense and it’€™s late in the game, and you’€™re running the ball, you’€™re going to keep running the ball and being pretty conservative and try to let your defense win the game for you. But those are all of the little things, the game within the game, that’€™s hard for me to say. If you’€™re struggling on defense, and you’€™re hanging onto a lead, you’€™ve got to stay aggressive. You’€™ve got no choice. The problem with this team is you’€™ve got to be really careful with them. Because you flip it around the wrong way and they’€™ll take it the distance on you. You don’€™t want to give it away. You want to make them earn it.”

Following are more highlights from the interview.

On if Jameis Winston is an NFL Quarterback: “He certainly has the skill set to be that. Obviously, there’€™s other factors that come into these things, but that guy is a very, very talented quarterback. And he’€™s got a tremendous arm, anticipates throws, he’€™s big and strong and physical in the pocket. He’€™s got a good enough athleticism to get himself out of trouble. I can’€™t see a weakness in terms of his skill set.”

On if Tyler Murphy could make it in the NFL at another position: “He’€™s a really great athlete. He’€™s got great ball skills, he’€™s a tremendous athlete with his feet. He really has a good arm. He’€™s a guy that has high, high character. I believe there’€™s a spot for a guy like Tyler Murphy at the next level.”

On possibly getting more get graduate students for the team: “It certainly can help you, no doubt. And in the situation we were in when I got here, we didn’€™t have any choice — we had to. We were down scholarships, we are right now, we’€™re playing at 71 scholarships. We’€™re closer to I-AA level scholarships than I-A. We lost 26 guys in the last year and a half. This has been vital, it’€™s been a lifeline for us. These are guys based on previous relationships. As I pull away, I’€™m a head coach longer and longer, I don’€™t have those guys that I recruited at another place or saw. Yes, the answer is we would love to have more of those guys when they are the right guys. And the right guys at BC are really high character guys, guys that really value getting a master’€™s degree. Those kind of guys, they’€™re home runs. Certainly we’€™d be open to more of that.”

Read More: Jameis Winston, Steve Addazio, Tyler Murphy,

‘Hail Flutie’ about to turn 30 and the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism could be a big winner

11.18.14 at 2:26 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — This Sunday marks the anniversary of the most famous college play in Boston history and one of the most famous in football history.

“Hail Flutie” turns 30 on Sunday, and the Doug Flute-to-Gerard Phelan miracle that gave Boston College a 47-45 win over Miami is being commemorated by a company that is trying to not just stir up great memories but give something back to those in need.

Lenovo (@lenovoUS) will kick off what they’re calling the “World’€™s Largest Anniversary Message” with help from Vello, an app that allows users to individually add well-wishes to a larger group message. The brand is encouraging fans to send their messages to Flutie through Nov. 22 at 12 midnight at velloapp.com/HailFlutie. The video will then be released on Nov. 23.

For every 30 messages recorded with the Vello app, Lenovo will donate one brand-new computer to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism (@flutiefdn) up to 30 in total. Those wishing to post a message of congratulations to Flutie can do so at the Vello site by midnight EST Saturday in order for it to count. The Vello Code for posting is: HAILFLUTIE

A total of 900 messages would be the most ever recorded through Vello. The company is attempting a record-breaking anniversary message to help families living with autism. The foundation is named after Flutie’s 19-year-old son, Doug Flutie, Jr., who was diagnosed with autism.

Flutie currently has a role in Lenovo’€™s fantasy football mockumentary, “Tough Season 2,” which can be viewed at www.lenovo.com/nfl. “Tough Season 2″ also features many other current NFL players, such as Andrew Luck, Matt Forte, Wes Welker, Mason Crosby and A.J. Green.

The Flutie Foundation itself is commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the famous play by raising $30,000 to help people with autism. In a “30-for-30″ effort, the foundation is asking people to donate $30 and encouraging 30 friends to do the same.

Read More: Boston College, Doug Flutie, Doug Flutie Jr., Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism

BU’s Jack Eichel on College Puckcast: ‘We want to compete for a national championship’

11.12.14 at 11:01 pm ET
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Boston University star freshman Jack Eichel joined WEEI’s College Puckcast on Wednesday to talk about the fast start for both himself and his team. To hear the full interview, as well as a discussion with Ryan Lambert of Yahoo! Sports and College Hockey News, visit the WEEI Podcast Center.

A year after going 10-21-4 and finishing ninth in Hockey East, the Terriers are off to a 5-1-1 start this year and are currently ranked third in the country. Eichel isn’t surprised by the team’s turnaround, and he said they expect a lot from themselves moving forward.

“I think we have high expectations for ourselves,” Eichel said. “I don’€™t think we’re satisfied at all yet. I think we have a lot more to prove. I think every game we play, we’re proving something to not only the league, but to the country. We want to prove that BU’s back and we’re ready to go. We want to compete for a national championship.”

Eichel, a North Chelmsford native who is expected to be one of the top two picks in next summer’s NHL draft, has been a big reason for BU’s early success. Through seven games, he leads Hockey East in points (13), assists (8), points per game (1.86), plus/minus (+13) and shots on goal per game (5.57).

Eichel said that so far he hasn’t been too surprised by anything at this level.

“I think this is pretty much what I expected,” he said. “I had a little bit of a taste of it last year, playing with the [U.S.] under-18 team. We played a handful of Division I teams, so I got a little bit of a taste of it last season. It is what it is to be expected. There’s a lot of hitting and a lot of big, strong players. That’s kind of one of the reasons that I really wanted to go to college, was to play against the bigger, older, stronger competition and challenge myself on a nightly basis.” Read the rest of this entry »

Gerod Holliman, Louisville pick off Boston College

11.08.14 at 10:41 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Pro prospects Gerod Holliman and DeVante Parker were too much for Boston College Saturday night.

Holliman, a free safety, intercepted three passes while Parker caught eight passes for 144 yards to lead the visiting Louisville Cardinals past the Eagles, 38-19, Saturday night at a cold Alumni Stadium. For Holliman, it was his second straight game of at least two interceptions and he leads the nation with 13 picks. The all-time national record is 14 by Washington’s Al Worley in 1968.

Jon Hilliman had two touchdown runs for the Eagles, who fell to 6-4 and 3-3 in the ACC Atlantic. Brandon Radcliff had a pair of touchdown runs for the Cardinals (7-3, 4-2).

It was miserable night for BC quarterback Tyler Murphy, who was intercepted four times and finished 7-of-15 for 149 yards and a touchdown pass before being pulled for Darius Wade with three minutes left in the game. Murphy did finish with 41 yards rushing on 12 attempts, putting him over 1,000 on the season. He is the first ACC quarterback to reach the mark since 2009.

“It was a disappointing loss out there,” Eagles coach Steve Addazio said. “Somewhere along that game, credit to them. We had momentum, we lost momentum. We lost momentum before the half. We had an opportunity to recapture it in the second half but we were too herky-jerky. We had too many penalties and too many turnovers. Very uncharacteristic of our football team. That’s what happened. Five penalties and four turnovers, which didn’t allow us to get into any rhythm.”

With a game-time temperature of 51 degrees and winds up to 10 MPH that made it feel like 40, the Eagles got off to a good start when their goal line defense came up big on Louisville‘s first three chances inside the BC 10.

Murphy’s first snap of the day resulted in a poor pass and an interception by Holliman, his 11th of the season for Louisville, a new school record. The Cards marched down to the BC 1 but a false start pushed them back to the 6. Louisville settle for a 23-yard field goal from John Wallace.

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Read More: Boston College, Gerod Holliman, Louisville Cardinals, Reggie Bonnafon

What we learned: BU scores 4 in third to beat BC

11.08.14 at 12:40 am ET
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The first meeting of the season between Boston University and Boston College always provides something of a measuring stick for the two rivals. Friday night’€™s game at Conte Forum confirmed that BU and BC are pretty even right now, but in the end it was the Terriers who came away with a 5-3 win.

The Eagles held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, but the Terriers kept coming back. With 7:45 left in the third, freshman sensation Jack Eichel tied the game with a redirect of Brandon Hickey’€™s shot from the point. Two minutes later, senior forward Evan Rodrigues scored his second goal of the game and gave BU a 4-3 lead on a wraparound attempt that ricocheted off a BC skate and in. Nikolas Olsson tacked on an empty netter in the final minute. BU improved to 5-1-0 with the win, while BC dropped to 4-4-0.

Here are five takeaways from the game:

BC is going to be fine

Even though the Eagles have now lost three in a row, there is no reason to panic. The first of those three losses was an overtime contest on the road against a very good Denver team. No biggie. The second was a major upset at the hands of UConn in the Huskies’€™ first ever Hockey East home game. It’€™s a bad result, and it’€™s a game they absolutely should’€™ve won. But they weren’€™t horrific. They outshot UConn 35-22 (and 26-9 over the final two periods), but they ran into a hot goalie in Rob Nichols and just couldn’€™t finish. Upsets happen all the time in college hockey, and this time it happened to BC.

That brings us to Friday night. Losing three in a row and losing on your home ice against your archrival doesn’€™t feel good. But again, the Eagles didn’€™t play all that poorly, and BU is a very good team. They controlled stretches of play, they generated some sustained offense, and they were outshooting BU 22-14 through two periods. The third period and power plays were problems. They got outscored 4-1 in the third (3-1 if you take out the empty netter) and they went 0-for-4 on the power play. Those two areas definitely need to be better than they were Friday night, but they’€™re not enough to abandon ship. The Eagles have very good defensemen, a very good goalie and enough talent up front to beat anyone they play. Read the rest of this entry »

Hockey East Power Rankings: BU on top after first month

11.03.14 at 8:26 pm ET
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With the calendar flipping to November, now is a good time to take a look at how Hockey East is shaping up. Before we get to the rankings, consider this your reminder that Boston University and Boston College play this Friday night at 8 p.m., and it’€™s probably going to be a good one. If you’€™re not going, you can watch on NBCSN or listen on WEEI 850 AM.

1. Boston University (4-1-0, 2-1-0 HEA)
The Terriers got a bit of a wakeup call Saturday against Providence, as they were caught on their heels early on and ultimately couldn’€™t overcome a 2-0 deficit despite outshooting the Friars 18-6 in the third. Still, the Terriers have been the most impressive team in Hockey East so far. Their excellent freshman class has provided a noticeable talent upgrade at both ends of the ice, led of course by Jack Eichel. The potential No. 1 pick in next year’€™s NHL draft has a five-game point streak to start his college career, and he leads Hockey East in points per game (1.80) and shots on goal per game (6.20). After getting outshot by nearly 10 shots per game last year, the Terriers have outshot opponents by eight shots per game so far this year. Junior goalie Matt O’€™Connor has a .958 save percentage in four starts.

2. Boston College (4-2-0, 1-1-0 HEA)
The Eagles rebounded from a tough opening night at Lowell to win four in a row before having that streak snapped with an overtime loss on the road against a good Denver team on Saturday. Sophomore goalie Thatcher Demko has a .945 save percentage since giving up four goals on opening night, confirming what we all suspected — that everything is fine and opening night was just a blip on the radar. His strong play will continue to be important as the Eagles get used to life without defenseman Steve Santini, who is out until at least January after undergoing wrist surgery. Bruins draft pick Ryan Fitzgerald has embraced his move into the role of first-line center after playing wing last year, as he has five goals in six games and has won 51.6 percent of his faceoffs.

3. UMass-Lowell (5-1-1, 3-0-0 HEA)
The River Hawks are off to their best start of the Norm Bazin era, most recently sweeping UNH over the weekend. The sophomore trio of Evan Campbell, Chris Maniccia (who had a hat trick Saturday) and Joe Gambardella has provided a great 1-2-3 punch at center, as all three are averaging at least a point per game and winning at least 53.7 percent of their faceoffs. The River Hawks lead Hockey East in scoring with 4.29 goals per game, but don’€™t expect that pace to continue. They’€™ve scored on 18.3 percent of their shots on goal, which is not sustainable (the best shooting teams in the country usually finish between 11 and 13 percent). Goaltending remains a bit of a question mark, although freshman Jeff Smith has a .946 save percentage in his two starts and junior Kevin Boyle posted a 33-save shutout on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

Andrew Raycroft enjoys life at UConn, has positive memories of Bruins days

10.20.14 at 8:44 pm ET
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Andrew Raycroft, who spent parts of five seasons with the Bruins, is now an assistant coach at UConn. (Charles Laberge/Getty Images)

Andrew Raycroft, who spent parts of five seasons with the Bruins, is now an assistant coach at UConn. (Charles Laberge/Getty Images)

Andrew Raycroft wasn’€™t planning to get into coaching. When the 34-year-old former Bruin decided to retire in April after spending the previous two seasons in Europe, he was looking forward to a year away from the rink.

But then over the summer, Raycroft’€™s agent mentioned that Mike Cavanaugh — a friend of his and the head coach of the UConn men’€™s hockey team — was looking for a new goalie coach.

There was enough interest on both sides that Cavanaugh and Raycroft, who had never met before, decided to grab some coffee and talk about the position. They each liked what the other had to say, and Raycroft, who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year in 2004, agreed to join the staff as a volunteer assistant coach.

It may seem odd for a former NHLer to take an unpaid, part-time position, especially when you consider that Raycroft had never even been to a college hockey game before Saturday night, but Raycroft saw it as the perfect job for him at this time.

It allows him to get into coaching without making as much of a time commitment as a head coach or full-time assistant would, and more importantly, it allows him to stay in the Boston area. Raycroft, who was famously traded to Toronto for Tuukka Rask in 2006, has called Boston home since he played for the Bruins, and he currently lives in Sudbury with his wife and three kids.

“I’€™m not looking to be a head coach or a full-time goalie coach at this point,” Raycroft said. “€œI just wanted to come in and kind of help the guys out, use some of my experience to help out and give them a few pointers here or there, give them a few new ideas. It was a good opportunity to give back a little.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: andrew raycroft, tuukka rask,

Steve Addazio says ‘you cry a little bit together’ after heartbreak against Clemson

10.19.14 at 3:08 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — To Steve Addazio, Saturday’s 17-13 loss to No. 24 Clemson is just part of the growing process for his football program.

There have been highlights, such as the 37-31 win over No. 9 USC on Sept. 13 and last week’s bounce-back win over North Carolina State on the road.

But the bumps have been painful. The loss to Pittsburgh at home in the ACC opener. The meltdown against Colorado State when they had the game in their grasp only to lose in the final minute.

And then there was Saturday night at Alumni Stadium. With 10:59 left, Tyler Murphy found Josh Bordner on the other side of the field for a 6-yard touchdown that put BC up, 13-10. But the Eagles defense could keep the Tigers from making two big plays – a 33-yard pass completion to midfield and a 32-yard run off right tackle for the go-ahead touchdown just 84 seconds later.

BC had their chances with under a minute left. Tyler Murphy found Tyler Rouse all alone down the right sideline at the Clemson 3. But the ball fell through his hands on first down and the Eagles lost a chance at beating a Top-25 team.

“€™Obviously our locker room is devastated, which is completely understandable but I’€™m proud of the fact that we battled,” coach Steve Addazio said. “We really battled tonight. We’€™re going to get to work and take a look at where we could have played better, where we could have coached better. Where I could have done a better job to be able to find the inches and the yards in there that would have swung that thing and made a difference. But our team resolve is strong and united.”

“This is where teams come into play. When you’€™re a real team you stick together. You support each other. You cry a little bit together. You take care of each other and your steel resolve gets stronger and you get ready to the play next week. You get ready to go down and play Wake Forrest. That’€™s a good football team we just lost to out there. I’€™ve got a lot of respect for them and the job they did as coaches. They found the plays that they needed to win that game and we came up a little bit short but we battled.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston College, Clemson, Steve Addazio,
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